• Michael J. Fox as lawyer Louis Canning. (SBS)Source: SBS
He plays the type of TV character that fans love to hate: an absolute weasel. And he's back to give lawyers an even worse reputation.
Dan Barrett

3 Sep 2020 - 3:46 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2020 - 12:34 PM

The Good Fight has built TV’s best roster of memorable, smart and often oddball recurring guest characters who make the screen come alive whenever they appear. So many of these characters originated with the show’s predecessor The Good Wife, but the spin-off has marvellously kept them around – even if they only appear just once or twice a season.

Of all the characters that haven’t yet made an appearance on the new show, the one that fans are desperate to see is Louis Canning – the roguish lawyer played by Back To The Future and Family Ties star Michael J. Fox.

Good news: The wait is over – Louis Canning will appear this year and it’s sure to rock the show in all the best ways (for us the viewers… almost certainly not for the characters).

A 90-second guide to everything you need to know for ‘The Good Fight’ Season 4
Get set for the season return of one of the smartest shows on TV.

Know this about Louis Canning: he’s the WORST (but also, the best)

The number one thing to remember about Louis Canning is that he is always a complete and utter bastard. He may play it nice, as though he’s on your side. But every move he makes is always in service of his own objectives.

Canning has dyskinesia, a condition which prevents him from being able to voluntarily control his body movements. As a lawyer, Canning is often seen telling jurors about his condition and using it to engender sympathy from them… which he then exploits.

For Michael J. Fox, playing Canning was an opportunity to prove that people with a disability can be just as terrible as everyone else. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he explained:

“It’s funny because whenever a show or any representation of characters with disabilities on television tend to be sentimental, with soft piano music playing in the background, and I wanted to prove that disabled people can be assholes, too. And you want to feel sorry for him, but he’s such a dick, whether intentionally or not. I think he’s pure-hearted, I think he just wants to win, and whatever may be seen as a deficit, he’ll turn into an asset in order to prevail.” 


What actually is dyskinesia?

It is a condition that varies in severity depending on the person. It can involve a body part (like an arm or leg) or the entire body moving involuntarily. It can look like a person is fidgeting, writhing about or bobbing their head (among other body movements). While it can be a stand-alone condition, it is often associated with patients who have experienced brain injury, taken antipsychotic medications or used levodopa long term (levodopa is a drug widely used to treat Parkinson’s).

The idea to give Canning dyskinesia came from Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991.

Fox said: “I think it kind of blew people away on the set that I would be so open with it, but I just knew this was a perfect opportunity to funnel a lot of my life experience into a character and be coy with it and kind of let it out in dribs and drabs and see if I can make it an effective tool for him to do his job, as opposed to something that prevented him from doing his job.” 


Louis Canning practically invented ‘fake news’

One of the great things about the character is that we don’t really know much about him. He’s ruthless and has dyskinesia, but everything else beyond that always seems subject to the situation. What is the truth always remains a question with Canning.

In the 21 appearances he made throughout The Good Wife, we came to learn that he has a wife named Simone and he has children. It was revealed he had kidney failure, but was later on the road to recovery after receiving a donation. Oh, and he might be Jewish – we saw him wear a yarmulke at a funeral once. But, knowing Canning, we can’t be entirely sure that means anything.

Get down in the muck and prepare for a wrestle with Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning in The Good Fight.

Season 4 of The Good Fight premieres exclusively on SBS, airing weekly at 9.30pm from Wednesday 23 September. Episodes will be available at SBS On Demand after they go to air. Here is episode 1:

You might also like
‘Wallander’: why we can’t get enough of the best Nordic crime series of all time
As all three seasons of ‘Wallander’ return to SBS On Demand, we ask: What makes it the best Nordic Noir of all time?
Fans want ‘Letterkenny’s Jared Keeso to play Wolverine for Disney
Yer skeleton was bonded with unbreakable adamantium the other daaaaay…
‘Dragula’ has an openness to gender diversity that RuPaul’s Drag Race severely lacks
‘Dragula’ – the spooky drag competition series now on SBS VICELAND – has always had an openness to gender and gender expression that other drag shows could aspire to.
‘Surviving the Virus: My Brother and Me’ makes the COVID crisis deeply personal
Twin brothers, doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken, take us on their personal and professional journeys through the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
Lamingtons, fried rice and healing old wounds in ‘Hungry Ghosts’
Playing Diane in 'Hungry Ghosts' meant looking back on Vietnam War trauma and what's in a multicultural school lunchbox.
Here’s what’s leaving SBS On Demand in September 2020
It’s your last chance to catch these outstanding programs before they leave SBS On Demand.
‘Every Family Has A Secret’ returns to SBS uncovering more gripping family secrets
A diverse group of six Australians are determined to lift the veil on family secrets, no matter how confronting the truth may turn out to be.
‘Trigonometry’ is not your average love triangle
Refreshingly original, this brand-new show from the UK is about love, bravery and following your heart.
The Playlist 129: Melbourne International Film Festival round-up / Creators of 'The Salisbury Poisonings' / 'Indian Matchmaking'

Fiona gives us the highlights of this year’s curfewed Melbourne International Film Festival - MIFF 68 1/2 - and talks with Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, the creators of the real life drama 'The Salisbury Poisonings', we talk Netflix's 'Indian Matchmaking' and click play on 'Guerrilla' and 'Burning' on SBS On Demand.

Top new series in September
Spring into a massive month of viewing with 'The Good Fight’ season 4, a new season of ‘Every Family Has A Secret’, the highly anticipated ‘Hillary’, and the by-popular-demand return of some much-loved series.